crunch time

Three weeks were scheduled to complete the large chocolate creation for Nestle.  Paul and the kids were going to fly to Wisconsin at the tail end of the project so that we could indulge in the festival then scoot to a cabin on a lake with friends for Memorial weekend.  Alas, life reared up and interfered with those plans when my father was diagnosed with fourth stage pancreatic cancer.  Thank goodness Paul agreed to assist me so that together (without much sleep) we accomplished the project in seven days.  PHEW! 

We used over 5000 miniature CRUNCH bars in the creation.  Unfortunately the bars were individually wrapped since they were out-of-date product.  I could venture to guess how many Nestle-work-force-people-hours were used to unwrap miniature CRUNCH bars but suffice to say simply ...ZILLIONS!

Read More

Willy Wonka Land

Emerged in Willy Wonka eyelids and heart are heavy. We are racing the clock to the big unveiling on Friday. Punched with gaping grief, my chest hurts when I step back from the crazy world of chocolate, candy, and creation. Worry is wrapped around a difficult unexpected chapter in my parent’s life. Dad is hanging in there. He gets around with his walker - sleeps more and eats less each day. 
Most hours in my Nestle-world are filled with scheming and problem-solving - fueled with nibbles of chocolate, sips of water, and deep breaths. My hands are tired and sore. Phone calls with family and Hospice nurses punctuate long hours of vivid thoughts, creative ideas, and lots of crazy yummy chocolate creating.
Wildberry nerds look like turquoise...a lovely accent for the Wizard of Oz-themed chocolate sculpture.
Read More

Nestle Chocolate Sculpture - Day One

Phew! First day at Nestle working on the ChocolateFest creation = fourteen hours of head-scratching, sculpture building, chocolate eating, people meeting, and red hairnet wearing - along with a few good laughs. Thank goodness I’ve a GREAT partner to help me with this GIGANTIC chocolate sculpture!

Photo taken of Paul and I with the cell phone while watching the safety video in the security office before entering the chocolate factory.
Read More

Chocolate Project

Candy Creations
Over 10 years ago I stepped off a plane, rented a car and drove to Burlington, WI where I found myself immersed in Willy Wonka land at the Nestle Chocolate factory.  Using Swiss Made chisels, I carved over 1500 pounds of chocolate into a 14 foot totem pole for the city’s annual ChocolateFest.  Yum!
Next month I will return to Nestle to create this year’s ChocolateFest creation.  I had several conference calls with chocolate engineers and watched The Wizard of Oz many times before I designed the creation.
“There’s No Place Like Chocolate Land” is the theme for the festival this year .  I can’t tell you what the creation is going to be since it is traditionally kept a BIG secret until the unveiling Memorial weekend in May.  I will however…let you follow the process a bit via blog and vlog as the chips start flying. 
Stay tuned…

Read More